Aaand right back in to the turgid prose, friends:
"The air in the Jeep was suddenly soft, sweet, like the perfect summer night, where you can smell every blade of grass, every leaf, every flower, like a scented blanket that wraps you in air softer than cashmere, lighter than silk, a sweet blanket of air."
Anita goes on to describe the presence of the first vampire, who she has already titled The Mother of All Darkness:
"It was like standing on the train tracks, when you feel the first vibration down the metal lines, and you know you should get off, but you can't see anything. As far as you can look, the tracks are clear, there's only that metallic vibration, like a pulse beat against your feet, to let you know that several tons of steel are hurtling towards you. People die every year on train tracks, and often their dying words are, I didn't see the train. I've always thought that trains must be magical that way, or people would see them, and get the fuck off the tracks."
Let's just say the faith readers still put in the traditional publishing industry is amazing.
Things get so bright in the car thanks to Anita's blazing cross that Jason has to stop the car in the middle of the street. How they haven't found themselves in a horrific six car pile up by now is beyond me.
The Mother of All Darkness is a vampire and a shifter.
I don't mind that she breaks the known laws of this universe, actually. Big Bads often do. I just wish she were better written, because it's almost impossible to get past the shitty prose. It takes away from the dread we should be feeling.
This chapter is a treasure trove of absolutely shit writing. It's as if I opened up a bank vault only to discover that all the money has been replaced with rotting meat:
"The cross was still glowing, but only the metal itself, as if it were hollow and candles burned within it."
Anita's faith is literally so strong her simple cross necklace is repelling the Mother of All Darkness. Well already, this bad guy is toothless. If Anita can control her at first meeting, why would I care about what comes next?
Anita considers opening her bonds to J.C. and Richard, but is concerned that they might be taken over too. J.C. has no faith (though I suspect this means no faith that Anita respects) though Richard does. This is news to me. Since when does Richard believe in god? Maybe this is because I started at NiC but I can't recall a single moment when Richard references any kind of belief in god.
Hold everything! I actually like the next, oh, three paragraphs. Anita struggles with the MoaD and all the shifters in the car start to get animal-y as they respond to the MoaD themselves.
Here is where I am going to pause and hold forth for a moment: I think talent is overrated. It exists, certainly. People have natural affinities for certain things sometimes. But if you love something and you're willing to pour your heart, soul, and most especially your time and effort in to it, odds are you can become quite good at it. I point this out because I think with a heaping dose of self awareness, a tough editor, and a writer's group that is both supportive and realistic, LKH could hone her talent and turn out something good, if not great. But her story is one that always reminds me to be on the lookout for narcissistic, egotistical tendencies in myself. Creativity suffers, more often than not, if you indulge in those traits. Even Kanye West works his ass off, whatever you think of his personality.
Despite the fact that I enjoyed the last page, it quickly devolves in to something silly as Anita and the MoaD psychically scream in each other's faces.
A few acceptable paragraphs follow about how Anita realizes that the MoaD has no scent, seeing as she's not physically present, and that helps her ground herself in reality. That said, it's pretty obvious it's a psychic experience right? And I don't understand why they're all focusing so hard on "it's not real." In this world, psychic projections can be very real. Hell, Anita has been nigh-rolled by Belle several times now, entirely from a distance. Pay attention to your own world, damn!
Anita has a vision of the MoaD asleep in a black, dark, black room. The MoaD is doing all of this in her sleep. So what in the fuck is drawing her to Anita, of all people? I can't believe I am even asking that question. Everyone is drawn to Anita. Those who aren't not so mysteriously get killed.
Then in the next paragraph we learn that THE MoaD LITERALLY WAKES UP AFTER EONS OF SLUMBER BECAUSE SHE WAS WAITING FOR SOMETHING INTERESTING, NAMELY ANITA.
Anita mentions the fact that vampires tend to call MoaD names like Mother Gentle to appease her. This is interesting since that is probably where terms like The Fair Folk came from. She concludes though that Mommy Dearest is a lot more accurate. Is this a reference to the movie? Isn't she a little young for that?
This hellish chapter is finally over.